Corrado Gini

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Corrado Gini (Motta di Livenza, 23 May 1884 – Rome, 13 March 1965) was an Italian statistician, demographer and sociologist who developed the Gini coefficient, a measure of the income inequality in a society. Gini was a proponent of organicism and applied it to nations. [1]

Contents

Career

Gini was born on May 23, 1884, in Motta di Livenza, near Treviso, into an old landed family. He entered the Faculty of Law at the University of Bologna, where in addition to law he studied mathematics, economics, and biology.

Gini's scientific work ran in two directions: towards the social sciences and towards statistics. His interests ranged well beyond the formal aspects of statistics—to the laws that govern biological and social phenomena.

His first published work was Il sesso dal punto di vista statistico (1908). This work is a thorough review of the natal sex ratio, looking at past theories and at how new hypothesis fit the statistical data. In particular, it presents evidence that the tendency to produce one or the other sex of child is, to some extent, heritable.

In 1910, he acceded to the Chair of Statistics in the University of Cagliari and then at Padua in 1913.

He founded the statistical journal Metron in 1920, directing it until his death; it only accepted articles with practical applications. [2]

He became a professor at the Sapienza University of Rome in 1925. At the University, he founded a lecture course on sociology, maintaining it until his retirement. He also set up the School of Statistics in 1928, and, in 1936, the Faculty of Statistical, Demographic and Actuarial Sciences.

Under fascism

In 1926, he was appointed President of the Central Institute of Statistics in Rome. This he organised as a single centre for Italian statistical services. He was a close intimate of Mussolini throughout the 20s. He resigned from his position within the institute in 1932. [3]

In 1927 he published a treatise entitled The Scientific Basis of Fascism. [4]

In 1929, Gini founded the Italian Committee for the Study of Population Problems (Comitato italiano per lo studio dei problemi della popolazione) which, two years later, organised the first Population Congress in Rome.

A eugenicist apart from being a demographer, Gini led an expedition to survey Polish populations, among them the Karaites. Gini was throughout the 20s a supporter of fascism, and expressed his hope that Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy would emerge as victors in WW2. However, he never supported any measure of exclusion of the Jews. [5] [6] Milestones during the rest of his career include:

Italian Unionist Movement

On October 12, 1944, Gini joined with the Calabrian activist Santi Paladino, and fellow-statistician Ugo Damiani to found the Italian Unionist Movement, for which the emblem was the Stars and Stripes, the Italian flag and a world map. According to the three men, the Government of the United States should annex all free and democratic nations worldwide, thereby transforming itself into a world government, and allowing Washington, D.C. to maintain Earth in a perpetual condition of peace. The party existed up to 1948 but had little success and its aims were not supported by the United States.

Organicism and nations

Gini was a proponent of organicism and saw nations as organic in nature. [1] Gini shared the view held by Oswald Spengler that populations go through a cycle of birth, growth, and decay. [1] Gini claimed that nations at a primitive level have a high birth rate, but, as they evolve, the upper classes birth rate drops while the lower class birth rate, while higher, will inevitably deplete as their stronger members emigrate, die in war, or enter into the upper classes. [1] If a nation continues on this path without resistance, Gini claimed the nation would enter a final decadent stage where the nation would degenerate as noted by decreasing birth rate, decreasing cultural output, and the lack of imperial conquest. [8] At this point, the decadent nation with its aging population can be overrun by a more youthful and vigorous nation. [8] Gini's organicist theories of nations and natality are believed to have influenced policies of Italian Fascism. [1]

Honours

The following honorary degrees were conferred upon him:

Partial bibliography

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References

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 Aaron Gillette. Racial theories in fascist Italy . London, England, UK; New York, New York, USA. Pp. 40.
  2. "Corrado Gini's Biography". Società Italiana di Statistica (SIS). Retrieved 2016-11-05.
  3. "Tales of Statisticians | Corrado Gini". www.umass.edu. Retrieved 2018-08-21.
  4. The Scientific Basis of Fascism, Political Science Quarterly Vol.42, No 1, March 1927 pp. 99-115.
  5. Mikhail Kizilov, The Karaites of Galicia: An Ethnoreligious Minority Among the Ashkenazim, the Turks, and the Slavs, 1772-1945, BRILL, 2009 pp.278ff.
  6. Riccardo Calimani, Storia degli ebrei italiani, vol.3, Mondadori 2015 p.583.
  7. Boldrini, Marcello (1966). "Corrado Gini". Journal of the Royal Statistical Society. Series A (General). 129 (1): 148–150. JSTOR   2343927.
  8. 1 2 Aaron Gillette. Racial theories in fascist Italy. London, England, UK; New York, New York, USA. Pp. 41.